A killer targets high-ranking victims in a society of elves obsessed with genetic purity.
On the world of Ados, in the elven city of Tenyl, Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria tries to enjoy her day off. She’s summoned, however,
to the office of First Constable Aescel for an assignment to an important case. First Magistrate Lavalé fey Avecath has been murdered,
cleaved clean in half one night in his study. With her longtime partner recently transferred, veteran Reva must work with the inexperienced
Ansee Carya, who as a Seeker can investigate any magic used at the crime scene. At the First Magistrate’s study, the two encounter Green
Cloaks—or the Sucra—who act as King Aeonis’ secret police. Inquisitor Ailan Malvaceä orders that all documents be collected from the study,
which infuriates Reva. In turn, she graciously allows the Sucra to witness a Speaking, during which the corpse is magically induced to offer
verbal clues about the murder. In this way, the investigators learn that a black blade committed the deed. At the scene of a second killing—this
time Lady Tala Ochroma, the king’s treasurer—a healer refuses to save the life of a collaterally injured halpbloed (half-blood). Ansee loses
his temper and strikes the elf, revealing the extent to which bigotry divides the citizens of Tenyl. In this marriage of fantasy and procedural
thriller, the team of Habiger and Kissee (Unremarkable, 2018) gives fans of both genres a master class in worldbuilding. Everything from idioms
(“But tread carefully, Inspector. You are on a narrow branch here”) to fascist racial doctrines mesh in a narrative that pulses with innovation
on every page. While much of the emotional heft comes in comparing King Aeonis’ purity laws to those wielded by the Nazis, personal demons also
haunt the characters in this series opener. Reva finds herself addicted to the stimulant Wake, and the halpbloed Cedres Vanda desperately wants
to reunite with his family, despite his wife’s disgust for him. A wider conspiracy puts the kingdom at risk, and the charming, flawed
protagonists prove themselves a winning combo worth visiting again.
This rich fusion of crime and fantasy should enchant readers.
US Review of Books
"Lavalé had no time to move. He could only watch, helpless, as the blade, bright red lines twisting through it like a breathing forge, swept down upon his head. Lavalé's last thought was that he did know that blade."
First, the magistrate is killed—brutally murdered in his own study by a familiar elven figure wielding a powerful black blade. Then the King's Treasurer is taken down in the middle of the road, along with anyone who happened to be too close in the moment. For Constable Inspector Reva Lunaria these murders mean one very important thing: She can kiss her well-earned day off goodbye. Along with her new partner, Ansee "Antsy" Carya, Reva sets out to uncover the masked murderer. As they investigate the murders, they uncover a web of intrigue and conspiracy that's been in motion for years. Magic blades, complex elven politics, murder, mayhem, and a talking parrot that won't stop saying "Reva is sexy"—all these things and more make Wrath of the Fury Blade a thrilling adventure from start to finish.
The idea may seem familiar: one murder leads to another while a no-nonsense inspector investigates the action and gets into danger as a result. However, this book is anything but typical. The action happens not in our world but in a fantasy world of elves and magic—a combination which may seem out of place. In the hands of the authors, though, Reva and her fantasy home come alive with every nuance of a real world. The novel is both a murder mystery and a police procedural that plays remarkably well with its fantasy elements—sort of like an episode of CSI penned by J.R.R. Tolkien. Every aspect of the world, from its history to its politics to its modern-day struggles, is thought out and presented in the pages for the reader to pick up on. Everything from the elven police procedure to the rules of magic is predetermined, with the authors clearly thinking everything through in great detail. Reva's home is imbued with such a richness and depth that it becomes difficult to remember the place does not and cannot exist.
Reva herself is a strong, fierce heroine who puts her service in the name of justice above all else. Through her partnership with the much mellower (but equally moral) Carya, she is fleshed out in all her elven glory. Despite the two making a remarkable—though mismatched—team, neither is without their flaws. And as they proceed towards their goals, the demons of their past and present rear their ugly heads. In fact, no character is extraneous, no matter how short their appearance in the story is, and each is driven by his or her own ambitions and fears. The writing is likewise descriptive but tight with no words wasted. Yet every passage tells readers more about the story, the people, the environment, and every other aspect of the world in question.
Intrigue and wonder fill the story, but underneath everything run darker, more relevant themes: race, culture, and the absurd, over-emphasized importance of social standing. The world Reva lives in has declared elves pure and worthy and casts any half-breeds into lowly positions in society for their bloodline alone. It is, in a way, a dystopia which reflects the vices of our own world. It's clear from the beginning that the assassin is seeking to right wrongs he believes were committed by the elite in the society. But what is truly happening in this world? What drives anyone to commit unspeakable crimes? Magic, revenge, or is it something more? Wrath of the Fury Blade is a masterful marriage of genres and a must-read for fantasy and thriller lovers alike.